Community personas and survey results


Survey results and community personas: Are you who we think you are?!

As you may have noticed by now, we’re always interested to hear your opinion, whether you call us, e-mail us or leave a comment on social media or our forum. But when we’re looking for information we can quantify, analyze and make into pretty charts, we turn to surveys. We use your feedback as a crucial part of our decision-making processes, from improving our impact and offering better support solutions to designing our next Fairphone. We also use surveys to better understand who YOU are – including Fairphone owners buyers and the community as a whole. That includes basic demographic information like age and where you’re from, as well as information about your values, motivation, and what matters to you when you’re buying and using a mobile phone.

Fairphone owners are German, 37.5 years old and have a Master’s degree

Does that sound like you? We’re guessing probably not, but based on an online survey of 821 Fairphone owners we conducted in April this year, 48.7% of you are German, your average age is 37.5 and 44% of you have a Master’s degree. While the fact that many of you live in Germany was no surprise, we must admit, we now feel slightly intimidated by how well-educated you all are! Go ahead, see the full infographic of Fairphone first edition owners in the graphic below.


Download our survey infographic to see what else we discovered about Fairphone owners.

Insights into community identity and how you use mobile phones

Besides our own online survey, Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam conducted a community identity survey on our behalf in April, which generated 1,579 usable responses. So your responses not only help us, but help researchers write smart stuff about social enterprises. Your engagement and willingness to participate are providing a great opportunity for research on ethical consumerism and mobile phone use, so thank you!

At the same time, TU Delft also assisted us by conducting a survey on mobile phone usage. Both of the surveys conducted by the universities included the entire Fairphone community, not just owners.

Here are some of the most interesting stats to come out of these three surveys:

  • 57.2% of you bought a Fairphone to support what we do. Thanks so much!
  • 48% of Fairphone owners did not previously own a smartphone. We think it’s very brave that you took the leap for us. But now we must wonder why exactly did you not have a smartphone before?
  • Even though our community is very aware of sustainability issues, more than 55% of you have at least one old, unused phone lying around at home. Why is that? We wonder how we can help incentivize people to recycle or reuse these!
  • You gave us an average of 4 out of 5 for Brand Value (Pride, Symbolic Value and Trustworthiness). We’re humbled by your positive response to our brand. Thanks for being so involved – so much of our brand image and impact depends on you spreading the word.
  • Facebook and Twitter are the channels you most often use to talk about Fairphone…yet you find social media the least useful communication channel in general. We’ll let you explain that one to us. What other kinds of channels would you like us to use?

Putting people into boxes with community personas

We realize that you’re all individuals with your own history, dreams and personalities. But unfortunately, we can’t get to know all 70,000+ people in our community personally! We now have quite a bit of information from you that it’s time to focus, draw conclusions and over-simplify to make this information operational.

In the world of marketing and communications, it’s common to create user personas (profiles) for prospective buyers – essentially putting the people companies want to talk to into convenient boxes. Most companies do this, but very few share the details with their community. In the interest of complete transparency – even in our market research – here are the six personas we’ve come up with based on all of our survey findings.

Fairphone Persona

Fairphone: The critic

You are a techie and love to share your critical opinion. You’re often highly skilled and enjoy playing the devil’s advocate. You are demanding, push the debate and keep challenging us to improve.

Fairphone: The optimistic techie

You also have a knack for being technical and fixing things, and you love sharing your skills for the greater good. You are our tech support and repair trailblazers that get other people excited and enjoy being an active part of the (developer) community.

Fairphone: The trendsetter

You’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to trends. You may not like to admit it, but you really do get a kick out of being seen with the latest styles and products. With everything you buy, you add a touch of “cool” and are great at spreading the word.

Fairphone: The business user

You care about convenience, reliability and solid proof of usability. You love merging your work and personal life into one device. You’ll get upset if the phone doesn’t deliver with the functionality you need for your business-intensive lifestyle.

Fairphone: The early adopter

You are a natural risk-taker – when you see something radical, you’re willing to make the plunge and put your money down. You’ve invested a lot in the Fairphone cause, but if we get too mainstream, will you get bored with us?

Fairphone: The community heart

You are caring, positive and the soul of our community. You may be less tech-focused, because it’s not about the phone, it’s about the movement! You are engaged with the story, share our values and are naturally inclined to be an active ambassador.

Of course, we’d love your feedback!

So what do you think? Do you see yourself fitting into any of these personas we’ve defined? Or do you not identify with any of them? To get you started, we asked a few people around the office which personas resonated most with them using our scale of 10 points.

Miquel: I think I’m 20% business user (2 points), 40% community heart (4) and 50% early adopter (5). And I’m definitely not an expert at math.

Roos: I’m a mix of an early adopter (4 points), heavy business user (3) and community heart (3). For me telling about the Fairphone story has priority over functionality. It appeared to be so much more than just my phone. It’s a conversation starter.

Marco: I’m certainly an early adopter (6 points), but I’m also an optimistic techie (4). I love telling the story of what my Fairphone is and am proud that it enables me to work for this company that aspires to do good in this world! And I get energy from helping you fix your error messages 😉

Tina: Most likely I’m a sort of early adopter (3 points) and I love spreading the word about Fairphone (2, community heart). But I would use a phone until it dies, no need to be trendy (0). However, it still needs to be able to support me in my everyday life, including work and travelling. So I guess part of me is a business user (3) …and unfortunately not the most patient one at times (2, critic).

So, we’d love to ask your feedback, in the form of a survey of course! If you have just ten minutes, we’d really appreciate it if you take our community profile survey. We’ll ask you where you think you fit in the personas (or not) and ask you what information you think we might be missing about our community. You can even write a new persona for yourself if you’d like. Make sure the community personas add up to 10 and have fun!

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